The US used to be an inspirational society. Now it is a society dominated by envy.
In “aspirational societies” productive work and success are rewarded. Envious societies undermine productive work and success.
The Greeks recognized that envy manifests itself in 2 ways. To them, one type of envy fosters war and battle and is cruel. The other type of envy lifts up the shiftless to toil and compete to have what their neighbor has.
Aristotle (387-322 BC) referred to bad strife as envy. Good strife as emulation. “Emulation makes us take steps to secure good things, while envy makes us take steps to stop our neighbor from having them.”
That statement describes the difference between capitalism and socialism. Between aspirational societies and envious societies.
Aristotle went on to say “We envy those whose possession of or success in a thing is a reproach to us. For they are our neighbors and equals, thus it is clear that it is our own fault for having missed the good thing in question.”
Envy starts in the person themselves. It occurs when people recognize they don’t have the ability, smarts, or work ethic to compete with their neighbor. People dislike admitting their short-comings so many make up excuses to justify their short-comings. The other guy is a heartless SOB, the rich exploited people to get where they are, wealthy people really didn’t earn it, etc.
The world had demonstrated that people are going to envy success and achievement. This applies to large percentage of American population. It also applies to Moslem terrorists.
How do we counter envy?
We can start by remembering FDR in his inaugural address in 1933 said: “The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Good words to focus on as we deal with Moslem terrorists.
Fear, by many of our leaders, of those that are envious stymies the efforts to confront them. It also creates a feeling of need by people to appease the envious. The envious guilt those who have, to give up a portion of what they have.
American success is unparalleled. We are the envy of the world…and now the majority of people in America.
Have you ever owned a slave? Of course not. No one has in 150 years, yet there are those in America that continue to try to make every white American still feel guilty. Likewise those same people try to make black Americans feel they can’t rise above their “station in life.” This is wrong on both counts…and only benefits those that appease.
Unfortunately, many in Congress and the Administration fear envy. They are making every effort to appease people who hate America, in and out of America. Fear can be described as the defining characteristic of liberals in America…those elected and many in media. They have adopted a psychological strategy of envy-appeasement. More welfare benefits, food stamps for millions more, creating animosity against the rich, drives for major increase in minimum wage, etc.
Whatever the evils that exist in the world, they won’t be solved by anyone in America apologizing for being an American. Or for the American tradition to emulate opportunities for success.
To change things Americans must reject the envy of the world, whether Moslems or those in this country. How? By finding and electing leaders who quit apologizing for America. Leaders who appeal to the aspirational best in America to inspire those in America and other parts of the world.
Above inspired by article by Jack Wheeler, “9/11 and the 10th Commandment” in To The Point News 9/11/2014.